Volume 48, Issue 5 (September 2003)
Letter to Editor—Autopsies on executed federal prisoners
In spite of federal and state laws that have granted autonomy for death investigation to local authorities, successful challenges were made in 2001 to prevent autopsy examinations following the executions of federal prisoners, including Timothy McVeigh. In blocking protocols that normally apply to any deaths occurring in custody, the challenges by McVeigh and others raised serious questions regarding the ability for medical death investigators to fulfill their statutory duties. The actions of death row inmates and related legal proceedings, additional political considerations, presented major conflicts with standing policies.